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It is all about jazz and arts for two days in Fort Langley

60 concerts in two days – its music and wherever you go

Vendors at the Fort Langley Farmers’ Market were impressed by today’s unusual turnout. It was 8:30 in the morning, and people had already started gathering. While for the vendors, it meant more opportunities to connect with the public, most eagerly awaited the annual Mardi Gras parade and the festival to be kicked off.

People start to hear some jazzy beats coming from a clarinet around 15 minutes past nine. It was clarinettist and festival co-founder Dave Quinn.

The crowd cheers.

Quinn then kicks off the procession, and other members of his band – the RazzMaJazz Ensemble – join, playing their respective instruments.

As they march towards the community hall, more and more people join them, with Township Councillor Patrina Arnason leading the crowd as the parade marshal. Dressed in Mardi Gras garb, she looked as excited as she could, dancing and celebrating her fourth year as the parade marshal with the festival.

By the time the ensemble reached the hall, dozens of people had joined them. Many visitors were seen dancing and cheering from the street corners.

After speeches by Karen Zukas, co-founder of the festival, Langley – Aldergrove Conservative MP Tako van Popta, parliamentary secretary for arts and film Bob D’Eith, and Township of Langley Mayor Jack Froese, the event was officially started.

RELATED: Langley’s annual cultural festival to feature a wide variety of artists this year

With eight stages set up all around the village, music came from every corner of the village. The organizers have partnered with TransLink for the two-day festival to offer shuttle services for people to hop from one stage to another.

The village seemed full of locals and visitors from around Metro Vancouver – many spending a few hours at each spot, trying to cover as much they could.

At Bedford Plaza was the Kwantlen Art and Cultural Exhibition, which started with Indigenous artists taking on the stage for Pow Wow demonstrations. The more than hour-long dance performances even got the visitors dancing and celebrating with Indigenous leaders coming from different parts of the country.

As performers presented various Indigenous dance forms, they encouraged everyone to form a circle and dance with them. Mayor Forese, city councillors and dozens of other visitors joined hands and followed the performers of the day.

Along with dozens of Indigenous exhibitors – like Kwantlen elder Hazel Gludo Fillardeau – selling handmade items were Kwantlen restaurateurs like Karen Gabriel and Chelsea. Gabriel was selling Bannock while Chelsea was with her team representing Pipam Catering.

An elder of Kwantlen First Nation and a residential school survivor, Fillardeau works at the Fort Langley National Historic Park as an interpreter. At the festival, she was selling baskets, hats, and other items she made using the inner bark of the cedar tree.

An expert weaver and craftsman, Fillardeau, was seen explaining to visitors the types of barks and how she spends her winters making handmade products.

“It [sourcing the cedar bark] is a winter project,” she explained.”

At the kids’ zone, Sarina Parker, a resident from New Westminster, was with her 2-year-old daughter Levi. The duo enjoyed face painting and other family-friendly activities.

“The farmers market is pretty and the parade were the highlights,” she said.

READ MORE: Langley festivals kickin’ into high gear

Also selling hot dogs, burgers, fries, and non-alcoholic drinks was the Fort Langley Lions Club team. The team had been at the site since 7:30 a.m., setting up their equipment and getting ready for the day.

“We are hoping to have a great day and we will be back tomorrow,” said Wendy, one of the Lions Club volunteers.

The team was selling snacks for less than $6 and raising money for their community service projects.

With more than 30 performances and dozens of activities, day one concluded at 5 p.m. There are more performances happening tomorrow, Sunday, July 23. Those looking for a jazzy day should stay tuned with Langley Advance Times for more updates.

For more information and full line up, people can visit


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Tanmay Ahluwalia

About the Author: Tanmay Ahluwalia

Tanmay Ahluwalia is a journalist with a digital mindset and a proud alumnus of the University of Delhi.
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